Chapter

Politics in war and Reconstruction, 1861–76

Donald T. Critchlow

in American Political History

Published in print December 2014 | ISBN: 9780199340057
Published online February 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199393725 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780199340057.003.0006

Series: Very Short Introductions

Politics in war and Reconstruction, 1861–76

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The Civil War and its aftermath intensified politics in the North, sharpening the divide between Republicans and Democrats and factionalizing the Republican Party. The war did not politically unite the North during the war. Abraham Lincoln confronted deep factionalism in his own party: Radical Republicans insisted upon emancipation of slaves and vengeance on the South. Conservative Republicans called for caution. ‘Politics in war and Reconstruction, 1861–76’ describes how these factional divisions worsened after Lincoln's assassination in 1865. The most important political consequence of the Civil War and Reconstruction proved to be the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth constitutional amendments, which abolished slavery, granted equal citizenship, and protected voting rights for former slaves.

Keywords: citizenship; Constitution of the United States; democracy; political Parties; rights; scandals; voting

Chapter.  4077 words. 

Subjects: Political History ; US Social History ; Regional Political Studies

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